US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he will ban the TikTok social network in the United States, after the country’s authorities expressed concern that this platform was used by Chinese intelligence.
Speaking to reporters on the Air Force One presidential plane, Trump said: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we are going to ban it in the United States.” He added that he would take the measure soon through a decree or by resorting to emergency economic power.
(We recommend: The ‘tiktoker’ nun who is all the rage on social networks)
TikTok, a video application very popular with young people whose headquarters is ByteDance, based in China, It has around a billion users worldwide.
The Wall Street Journal and the Bloomberg agency had earlier reported that Trump arranged to sell the U.S. operations of
TikTok by ByteDance, estimating that the service could be used by Chinese intelligence. Other reports, including one from Fox News, said Microsoft was in talks to acquire TikTok, the value of which could reach several tens of billions of dollars.
(It may interest you: Secret emails between Epstein and his ex-partner are revealed)
US officials and lawmakers have expressed concern in recent weeks that TikTok may be used by China for espionage purposes, But the company has denied any ties to the Beijing government.
Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said Wednesday that he would make a “recommendation” on the platform to the White House this week.
AFP consulted with TikTok and TikTok declined to comment on the press reports. “We are confident in TikTok’s long-term success. Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok to entertain and connect, including our community of creators and artists. “he limited himself to pointing out.
(Also read: Why Covid-19 Figures in Latin America and the US Are Concerning)
The platform this week promised a high level of transparency, including allowing revisions of its algorithms, to assure users and regulators that it is not used for any purpose other than entertainment. “We are not politicians, we do not accept political publicity and we do not have a political agenda; our only objective is to continue being a dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy”Social media CEO Kevin Mayer said in a post this week.
“The entire business sector is being carefully and rightly examined. Due to the company’s Chinese origins, we are being examined with even more attention. We accept it and we accept the challengeMayer said.
“TikTok has become the ultimate target, but we are not the enemy,” he added.
(We suggest: TikTok influencer girl was convicted of ‘inciting debauchery’)
TikTok has often had to defend itself against its links with China, where ByteDance has a similar application but with a different name. He has always denied that he shares information with the Chinese authorities and assured that he does not intend to accept requests in this regard.
On Friday, before Donald Trump’s announcement, some American media assured that the president was going to force the ByteDance group to sell TikTok.
According to The Wall Street Journal and the Bloomberg Agency, the president was preparing to sign an official order to force the Chinese parent company to separate from the popular US application in the name of national security protection.
But instead of the sale, Trump announced his ban in the United States that will be effective starting this Saturday.
(Also read: Trump suggests postponing elections due to alleged fraud risk)
For his part, James Lewis, head of the political technology program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, believes that the security risk of using TikTok is “close to zero”. Instead, “it looks like ByteDance could be under pressure from Beijing”he declared.
The social network is also in the sights in other countries. India put it at the head of a list of 59 applications that it banned on June 30 on its territory, to “guarantee the security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”
Pakistan, a very conservative Muslim country, recently issued a “last warning” to the app to remove content deemed “immoral, obscene and vulgar” from its platform.
(We recommend: Effects of covid-19 will “be felt for decades,” says WHO)